10 Ways to Reduce Costs, Save Your Company and Look Like a Superstar!
By now, we’re all feeling the pain caused by our faltering economy. Between Wall Street, Main Street and the seemingly never-ending election process, most people I know are freaked out; totally stressed; and terrified of losing their jobs, homes and more.
I haven’t seen this much fear in the eyes of catalog marketers since right after Sept. 11 and the anthrax scare.
But all isn’t bad. I swear!
There’s an amazing opportunity in all of this chaos to streamline your business, strip away the dead wood in your budgets (like our presidential candidates promise they’ll do) and be a rock star in your company.
Here are 10 steps to help you get started:
1. It’s time to renegotiate everything. Start with your key area’s of business — printing, mailing, lists, creative, prepress (oops, I meant premedia).
2. Do a print review. Have your printer bid against other printers. I did this for a turnaround I worked on and was able to reduce printing costs by 20 percent. (Seems my predecessor was asleep at the wheel.)
3. Tweak your catalog’s trim size or basis weight. You may find some cost savings there.
4. Co-mail! This can reduce your postage costs.
5. Take advantage of destination-entry discounts. (Ask your printer about what this and co-mailing entail, and what you can save. Or e-mail me and I’ll explain.)
6. List brokers are offering discounts and test pricing for mail files. Ask and you shall receive.
7. Look for more list exchanges. These can be had for run charges, a fraction of the rental fee.
8. Use the co-op databases, such as I-Behavior, Abacus and NextAction. They’ll model your customers and rent you prospect names for less than list rentals.
9. Do your matchbacks. Make sure you’re analyzing your mailings the best and most accurate way possible.
10. Run NCOALink, merge/purge and other list hygiene products before each mailing. I had a client who had the same name on his database six times. Waste of money! You only need one instance of a name to mail it. Find yourself a great service bureau to steer you to savings.
In two weeks I’ll give you 10 more ways to save money and reach superstar status. In the meantime, if you need any clarifications on these or any other ways to save money, let me know and I’ll work your answer into my next column.
Hang in there!
Jim Gilbert is president of Gilbert Direct Marketing, a full-service catalog and direct marketing agency. His LinkedIn profile can be viewed at www.linkedin.com/in/jimwgilbert or you can post a comment here or e-mail him at email@example.com.
Jim Gilbert has been creating direct marketing programs that drive superior ROI for almost 30 years. Fluent in consumer or B-to-B, creative, operations, and analytics, he marries the strategic and tactical sides of direct and social media marketing in a seamless fashion that gets results. He's CEO of a multidiscipline direct marketing agency, Gilbert Direct Marketing, Inc., which focuses on direct mail, catalogs, DRTV, telemarketing, print, alternative direct marketing media and social media marketing. Jim has been involved in start-ups, expansions and turnarounds, and is an expert in helping multichannel marketers get to the "next level." He's a former adjunct professor, teaching direct marketing at Miami International University, and is President of the Board of Directors of the Florida Direct Marketing Association. Jim loves to talk direct marketing, and has done many lectures on direct and social media marketing.